Workman speaks up for gang influence in changing lives

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(Source | Waatea News) The head of the Rethinking Crime and Punishment says gang members can be the best people to help other get out of a life of crime.

Kim Workman spoke to last weeks Ngakia Kia Puawai Police Leadership Conference, shortly after Police Minister Judith Collins told the hui she was opposed to engagement with gangs or gang members.

Mr Workman says people do find ways to leave the gang lifestyle through education or alternative employment, and they tend to be the most effective at helping others.

The challenge is to provide those people with those opportunities in the knowledge that when you get those sorts of people on board, they will in turn transform others. At the end of the day social workers and psychologists and those sorts of people dont change peoples behaviour. Whanau change the behaviour of other members of the whanau, Mr Workman says.

International research shows gangs cant be enforced out of existence, as police often try to do.

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